The Vatican deletes Pope Benedict XVI's entire Twitter feed

@Pontifex, we hardly knew ye

Published February 28, 2013 10:25PM (EST)

The Vatican didn't waste any time before deleting the newly resigned pope's entire Twitter feed.

Those visiting with @Pontifex (Latin for "bridge builder) on Thursday were greeted by an empty page. The pope emeritus' picture has been replaced with the Vatican seal and the account name has been changed to "Sede Vacante." (Latin for "the seat being vacant." These Vatican types really love their dead languages!)

But as Monsignor Paul Tighe, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, told Forbes, the account is simply inactive until the next pope is selected and is not "shut down."

The Vatican has created an archive of #popetweets on its website, where you can find 140-character papal quips like:

"Let us imitate the Virgin Mary in welcoming and guarding the word of Jesus, in order to recognize him as Lord in our lives," and "Today I have a special thought for every religious: may they always follow Christ faithfully in poverty, chastity and obedience."

Can't get enough Benedict news? You can follow the unofficial @PopeBenedictXIV account here.

By Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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